Day One OTAs quotes and notes from Joseph, Ward and Lynch.

Englewood, Colorado. As expected, day one of official OTA’s brought nothing new. As Vance Joseph has said for months, both quarterbacks would share equal reps with the ones and they did.

Returning vets who were starters last season, took first snaps on both sides of the ball. As expected, rotations continued throughout practice.

In short, both QBs had good plays and bad, the defense picked up where they left off and Day 1 was like the ones in the past: a relaxed day to get acclimated.

Vance Joseph said both quarterbacks commanded the huddle well and it was a good day for both. He’d like to see decision making, accuracy, command of the huddle and consistency. (Kind of like what every team wants from their starting quarterback.)

“This team has been engaged and motivated this entire offseason. It showed today even in our walkthrough. It was really too fast. They’re excited to be here. It’s a team that isn’t satisfied with the way things happened last year. They want to prove that better. It makes my job easier when it comes to motivating this football team.”

 

Based on our incredibly varied defense, what Vance says about the defensive end, isn’t smoke up our skirts, but reality.

“First of all, a defensive end position is usually a rotational position. It’s going to take probably five guys to fill that role. Whoever starts, it won’t matter much, they’ll all play. Right now it’s [DE Jared] Crick because he earned that last year, and obviously, [DE] Zach Kerr signed. We have [DE Adam] Gotsis who’s healthy again. And we’ve got [DE DeMarcus] Walker, the Florida State draft pick. We got five guys who can play there. Whoever starts, it doesn’t matter. It’s a rotational group position—by committee I should say.”

 

 

Image result for tj wardSafety TJ Ward was impressed with how fast the team practiced. He said the guys were dialed in their assignments and the communication was great. He thinks that Joe Woods as a DC is similar to what he was as a position coach, that he has the same mentality. One thing TJ also noticed besides the speed was the tenacity with which they practiced.

This is great to hear because it’ll make our offense and in particular our quarterbacks have such a high bar to go against. As is usual; for most teams, defenses click faster than offenses. Based on everything new for ours, I suspect it will take a while before the offensive pieces gel. Could be as late as mid pre-season.

“He just wants to get back to playing relentlessly. Wherever the ball is, everybody has to get to it regardless of where you are on the field. At the same time, you’re going to be smart and disciplined. You don’t want to be out of control. You want to be patient but ferocious at the same time. He brings that. He’s not a rah-rah guy but when he does get like that you definitely feel it. You get goosebumps and feel it from the inside and know it comes from his soul. That’s the type of players we have and that’s the type of defense we’re going to have. That’s what he expects.”

Ward, like most players, applauded Strength and Conditioning Coach Luke Richesson for getting players healthy and fast. Look out NFL…

“I think guys are even stronger this year. I think he focused on us getting a little bit stronger this offseason.”

When it comes to having quarterbacks play well, it often comes down to the Offensive Coordinators making them comfortable. This in turn leads to confidence. Add aggressive ball skills and you’ve got a good combo to work with.

 

Lynch mentioned a few times about being comfortable and having fun. I don’t care who the player is, it’s nice to hear them mention every once in awhile about having fun because when you’re having fun, it shows. It means the game is more than an Aston Martin and a pair of Uggs. He also mentioned getting reps. A subtle dig?

“It’s kind of hard to tell because I only have one year under my belt. I feel a lot more confident just being around the guys and being around the locker room. I feel like I can go out here and cut it loose a little bit more compared to my first year. Other than that, I’m just coming to work every day and trying to improve.”

 

“For me, it’s pretty different. I feel like it fits more of how I play. I’m more comfortable in it and there is a little bit more similarities to what I did at Memphis compared to what I had to do last year. Obviously at practice we’ve gotten into the gun a little more than last year, which is more comfortable to me because I’ve been doing it for long. Last year was my first getting under center. The reps that I got last year and the time that I got to play, now coming into OTAs this year, I think I’ve made pretty good strides.”

 

 

On his decision-making today in practice

“I felt very comfortable. I was confident in my reads and my throws. That is one thing I feel is a big difference in this year. When I let the ball go, I’m a lot more comfortable with where I’m going with it compared to last year. Like I said, there was a lot of thinking going on compared to where I am now. I’m just out there having fun and cutting it loose.”

 

 

 

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